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The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM)

Background

According to the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), more than 2 billion hectares of the world's deforested and degraded landscapes have potential for Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR). Deforestation and landscape degradation is a worldwide problem. Around 13 million hectares of forest were converted to other land uses or lost through natural causes each year from 2000 to 2010. Continued landscape degradation pose serious obstacles to eliminating poverty and hunger, maintaining biodiversity, and to the ability of farmers and local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This process of land degradation is also increasing competition for scarce natural resources. Consequently it threatens people’s livelihoods, well-being, food, water and energy security and the resilience capacity of both people and natural ecosystems.

FAO established the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLR Mechanism) during the 22nd Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) in June 2014. The FLR Mechanism is built on the advantages of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as a United Nations Agency with expertise and experience in several of the land-use sectors and its extensive network of country, subregional and regional offices.

The Mechanism aims to significantly contribute scaling-up, monitoring and reporting on FLR activities to a level needed to meet the Bonn Challenge and Aichi Biodiversity targets particularly Aichi Biodiversity Target 15. For this, it helps to coordinate and facilitate the development and implementation of projects, programmes and related activities in FAO member countries, in full collaboration with other key actors. The FLR mechanism operates globally by developing financial intelligence functions (raising awareness on FLR and fundraising actions towards key donors), preparing guidelines and standards for baselines and verification of successful efforts and contributing to more effective reporting to Rio Conventions e.g. the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and any other relevant international organizations, processes and initiatives.

As a milestone of implementing FLR in selected countries, the FLR Mechanism supports the preparation and the implementation of national FLR Action Plans in each selected country in accordance with its own laws, regulations and policy framework as well as other relevant initiatives/programmes. To scale-up the FLR efforts within countries and from country to regional and global level, as well as to ensure sustainability of FLR efforts, the FLR Mechanism operates to promote networking and support partnerships on FLR, striving for increased intersectoral collaboration. It also explores investment opportunities and greater involvement of the private sector to develop appropriate value chains linked to forest and landscape restoration opportunities. 

In order to achieve successful restoration efforts, the FLR Mechanism works in full collaboration with the GPFLR, other key partners and participating countries and contributes to national and international commitments and processes, especially those related to multilateral environmental agreements such as UNCCD, CBD, and UNFCCC.